KYLE JARVIS gave Zimbabwe Cricket selectors a huge boost with a welcome return as he bowled with venom to help the Zimbabwe Select to an easy seven-wicket win over the Board XI as they won in the Twenty20 tourney at Harare Sports Club yesterday.
The fast-medium bowler is one of the game’s key players and took 3/22 for Zimbabwe Select while PJ Moor also scored 28 for the Board XI.
Malcolm Waller had scored 60 for Zimbabwe Select in a seven-wicket win over Kenya on the same day.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe Cricket could be drowned by a huge wage bill, which is chewing most of the income that is flowing into their coffers, in the event that Zimbabwe is suspended by the International Cricket Council.
A red alert has been raised on ZC and its leaders face some tough grilling at the ICC annual conference in Dublin, Ireland, at the end of this month amid the grim possibility the country could be put on notice for possible suspension from the ICC.
Such a move, in the event the suspension is effected, will close the taps that have been providing the game with financial support and paralyse the sport in this country while plunging it into darkness.
The ZC leadership are running against time to secore a guarantee that the multi-million-dollar debt owed to local banks will get a 30 percent discount, on the principal amount, from authorities in this country.
The $19 million debt has been housed under the Zimbabwe Asset Management Corporation, but it still reflects on ZC books. And the ICC now want a Government guarantee that a 30 percent haircut on the principal amount would be effected to enable debt-free funds to start flowing into domestic cricket, from next month, which would then be pumped into the game rather than servicing the debts.
The ICC are also prepared, as part of their commitment to resolve the debt which has been choking domestic cricket, to provide a relief on their $6 million debt which is owed by ZC as part of a comprehensive eight-year debt-dissolution master-plan.
The ICC believe this could help the domestic game remain on its feet until 2023 rather than be choked by the massive debt.
The ICC remain concerned that fresh funds being pumped into Zimbabwe Cricket continue to be burdened by the massive debt, from both source to recipient, leaving the domestic game without the financial muscle that it requires to keep floating and, crucially, competing against teams in the top-tier of the game where its status as a Full Member demands.
ICC chairman Shashank Manohar discussed the delicate issue of the ZC debt when he paid the country a five-day visit in August last year, in the company of his wife Varsha, and the possible horrific implications for the game in this country should things not be resolved quickly.
However, nothing has moved so far and, after the ICC sent a representative to the country two weeks ago to warn of the dire consequences, there is a race against time for the resolution of this explosive case.
The United States and Nepal Cricket Boards have been suspended in recent months and an explosive cricket time bomb, with far-reaching consequences than the Warriors expulsion from the 2018 World Cup qualifiers, is ticking towards the destruction of the local game in the corridors of the ICC right now.
ZC, in the event of suspension, which comes with reduced or suspended funding from the ICC, will find themselves unable to meet their huge wage bill which take between 40 to 45 percent of their earnings.
The organisation will also be unable to cater for the national team, the women national teams and the junior national teams and this could spark a flight of skilled personnel from the country as they look for greener pastures elsewhere.
ZC are expected to get about $6 million from the ICC next month but that could be the last of the huge financial injections, until after 2023, should the debt-dissolution arrangement, supported by the ICC, fail to receive backing from local authorities in the next two weeks.